Neoware CA10: Hardware 

Neoware CA10 thin client


According to documents on HP's site the Neoware CA10 exists in two guises - initially there was the E140 model BL-XX-XX (800MHz CPU) which was later replaced by the E100 model BK-XX-XX (1GHz CPU). What I have is a BL-01-CB that was manufactured in April 2005.

I did wonder what other other changes there might be under the skin with the BK model, but in February 2020 I heard from Eric who had several BK models. He tells me that other than in the CPU clock rate the CPU and PCI listings from the BK units match those given below for the BL model.

Subsequently I got hold of a BL-02-EC. This was billed as having dual monitor support (see below).

The basic specs for the BL model are:

VIA Nehemiah
128MB (max 2GB)
   Max resolution
VIA VT8623 (Apollo CLE266)
1600 x 1200 32-bit colour
4 x USB2.0
Kybd & mouse
Coax 5.5mm/2.1mm
12V 4A
9 W
W x H x D50mmm x 290mm x 235mm

It runs Windows CE 5.0.

The CA10 is a larger style thin client - the same size as the Neoware Eon.

Getting Inside

Neoware CA10 cover removal

This is straight forward.

Undo the three screws holding on the top cover.

Neoware CA10 cover removal
Slide the cover a short distance to the rear after which it can be lifted clear.


From the linux cpuinfo data:

vendor_id :CentaurHauls
cpu family :6
model :9
model name :VIA Nehemiah
stepping :8
flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr cx8 mtrr pge cmov pat mmx fxsr sse cpuid rng rng_en ace ace_en


00:00.0 Host bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8623 [Apollo CLE266]
00:01.0 PCI bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8633 [Apollo Pro266 AGP]
00:10.0 USB controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xx/62xx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev 80)
00:10.1 USB controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xx/62xx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev 80)
00:10.2 USB controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82xx/62xx UHCI USB 1.1 Controller (rev 80)
00:10.3 USB controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. USB 2.0 (rev 82)
00:11.0 ISA bridge: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8235 ISA Bridge
00:11.1 IDE interface: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT82C586A/B/VT82C686/A/B/VT823x/A/C PIPC Bus Master IDE (rev 06)
00:11.5 Multimedia audio controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8233/A/8235/8237 AC97 Audio Controller (rev 50)
00:12.0 Ethernet controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT6102/VT6103 [Rhine-II] (rev 74)
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. VT8623 [Apollo CLE266] integrated CastleRock graphics (rev 03)

Power Supply

The Neoware CA10 uses an external 12V supply. Unlike some other Neoware models this has a conventional coax socket for the power (5.5mm/2.1mm). The marking on the socket says 12V 4A but I used it with a typical 'monitor' PSU that's rated at 3.3A.



Both the Flash memory and the RAM in the CA10 are easily replaceable. (Click on the photo for a larger version).

Flash: The flash is a "DiskOnModule" that interfaces via a 44-pin IDE connector.

RAM: The RAM is a 184-pin DDR DIMM. The 128MB DIMM fitted to my model was actually a DDR-400 part (PC3200). The CA10 uses the VIA CLE266 Northbridge which only supports 100/133MHz parts. Check the BIOS and you'll find whatever fast memory you fit the memory bus runs at 133MHz. I replaced the 128MB memory DIMM with two 256MB DIMMS of DDR-266 (aka PC-2100). This worked fine. According to the CLE266 data sheet it ... "Supports 4 banks up to 2 GB DRAMs (512Mb x8/x16 DRAM technology)". I haven't gone beyond 512MB. However Szabolcs in Hungary reports that he has successfully used two 512MB DIMMS to get 1GB of RAM, and has upped this to 2GB using two Transcend DDR 400 1GB DIMMs - JM 388D643A-5L. Justin Joyce has also used two 1GB DIMMs to get 2GB.

PCI: There is also a PCI slot. To be useable you'll need to find a riser board and socket to turn it through 90 degrees to align with the opening on the rear panel (and so you can get the lid back on!)

I subsequently got hold of a CA10 where the riser board was fitted along with what looks like a Matrox G550 low profile PCI display card (see photo below for the riser board and the fitted Matrox card). At the time of writing some WinNET riser cards were being advertised on eBay.com at $35. However a generic 1U riser card is available from China for ~$1.50 or ~£1 so I ordered one to see if it would fit.

The Matrox card is fitted with a 60-pin socket (LFH-60). Mine came with a cable to split this to two VGA sockets. I subsequently bought a cable on ebay for a few £s that splits to two DVI sockets.

CA10 riser and matrox board

In due course my generic riser arrived from China for an unbelievable 99p including postage. This fits perfectly. I tried it out with a PCI ethernet card and the whole assembly seemed rigid enough even though it lacks the extra metal support of the Neoware original. The full eBay description of the part was Leftward Left Angle 32 Bit 32Bit 1U PCI Riser Card New. I'm not sure what defines whether it is 'leftward' or 'rightward'. Judging by the current offerings on eBay the suppliers don't know either. I went by the photograph.

CA10 riser and ethernet board


Any comments? email me. Added July 2010    Last update February 2020